Aronia melanocarpa, or Black Chokeberry, is a shrub found native throughout the Northeast US, growing in moist, mildly acidic soils (pH 5.0-6.5), often where disturbance has occurred. Aronia are not very picky about soil type and can tolerate part shade, but prefer well-drained soil in full sun for best fruit production.
While the berry, which ripens in late summer, is fairly astringent off the bush, aronia is known to have one of the highest antioxidant levels measured in any fruit. This has caused increased interest in its cultivation as a "superfruit", and it is often prcessed into wine, juice, or jam.
The cultivar we are growing, 'Viking', is relatively compact for the species, growing vigorously to about 4-6 feet tall and wide, and sending multiple stems from the root crown. Yield is higher than species, and can be as much as 10-15 lbs. per bush after 4-5 years. 'Viking' is self-pollinating, but yield will be increased if another aronia is planted nearby.